NEW ADMINISTRATIVE AND FINANCIAL SYSTEM FOR THE CORPORATION

THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE SAP–UTALCA PROJECT HAS BECOME AN INSTITUTIONAL MILESTONE. IT WILL STREAMLINE PROCESSES AND PROMOTE A CULTURAL CHANGE, IN COHERENCE WITH THE OBJECTIVE OF ADVANCING TOWARDS COMPLEXITY.



March 24, 2016

Our Corporation climbs to the same height of the great universities of the world with the implementation of the strategic SAP - UTALCA project, which modernizes the internal administrative and financial management, according to the requirements of the institutional development.

One of the most significant events in this area took place on Thursday, March 24, with the release of the above-mentioned project, at the “Abate Molina” Theater, before the authorities and members of the university community.

Like more than 10 years ago, when our University was a pioneer in Chile in the implementation of the model of skills training, now it is the first among the state universities of the country in the implementation of a world-class system of processes.

To that end, during 2015 the Vice President Office for Economic Management and Administration established the need to adopt a Resource Planning System (ERP, in Spanish). Based on this, and the requirements of the University, the preparation of the project was addressed, where the Systems, Applications and Data Processing (SAP) technological tool was chosen.

The vice-president of SAP for Latin America, Leonel Graff, highlighted the successful integration of this tool in the most important foreign universities, as well as its operability. “The system is fairly friendly, has an interface similar to that found in Facebook or in similar applications in the web, but it can also handle IPad-type devices, smart phones, etc”. He added that what the university really gets is the standardization of processes, which are articulated in a network, which translates into efficiency.

Complexity

President Álvaro Rojas highlighted the fact that there are only three private universities in Chile that have implemented an ERP system. “We had to travel abroad to learn about successful experiences in the application of the SAP system to the administrative and academic management of a university,” he said.

Regarding what the incorporation of SAP will mean for our Academic Institution, he said that it will be “a great leap forward”, since the Institution is becoming more and more complex. Example of this is the existence in the academic area, 33 post-graduate programs, and also that the administrative management is becoming more and more sophisticated.

The president said that complexity requires modern, efficient and effective systems that can standardize the different criteria regarding management. “I think that SAP is a studied and compared tool in international university institutions that is appropriate to make this great leap which will also involve a series of adjustments,” explained Rojas.

For his part, the Vice President for Economic Management and Administration, Hugo Salgado, stressed that the SAP project comes to cover an expected strategic objective of the University, which was already present in the 2015Plan,  and which then took a more clear emphasis in the 2020Strategic Plan, which proposed to modernize the management of the administrative, financial and academic processes.

“SAP gives us a world-class tool, the best available and used by thousands of companies and organizations. Many universities have adopted it to develop their management more efficiently, more simple. It certainly puts us into the first level in terms of management tools,” said the Vice President.

Better Ways

Salgado also explained that it is a management tool that involves changing the way how work is done in this field. “Of course that means that the most important element to make those changes in management are the people (...) They are going to have to get unaccustomed from the way in which they have been doing a lot of things, in order to learn new and better ways of doing management and administration. Therefore, the key to the success of this project is that people working in the administrative processes —the users, the businesses with which we relate— to commit to the development of this project,” argued the academic authority.

Juan Pablo Miranda, representative of Seidor Crystalis, implementer of SAP in our Corporation, emphasized that this “is an extremely challenging project, a very important milestone for you and for us.” He added that in the implementation phase, professionals from the consulting firm will work in conjunction with the team from the University. First, in the design work, the current processes will be reviewed to see how they will be modeled in SAP. Then comes a phase of construction or implementation, where what was defined is reflected in the configuration of the system. It follows the test and adjustments stage, to fine-tune the model that will be implemented. Finally, there will be a period of transfer or training to the end users, in which they will be accompanied by the implementer.

The phase that has just started will end in January 2017, according to the Director of ERP Implementation, Carlos Rojas.

More than 2 400 institutions around the world use SAP. Some of them are: University of Toronto, University of Kentucky, University of Tennessee, Duke University, Johns Hopkins University, Newcastle University, Boston University, University of Cincinnati, University of Nebraska, among others.



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